Putin pleased with ruling on Russian doping

An worldwide tribunal's decision to overturn lifetime suspensions and reinstate results for 28 Russian athletes accused of doping is a low point for fair play in sport, says a Canadian athlete who stands to lose an Olympic bronze medal because of the decision.

28 of the 42 appeals of IOC's ban of Russian athletes will be upheld, said a CAS decision issued today.

The court also lifted the life bans of another 11 Russians, but barred them from competing at the Pyeongchang Olympics that start February 9.

"I know very well the athletes they didn't let go (to the Olympics)".

At the same time, only the International Olympic Committee will rule on whether Russian Federation can compete as a nation in Pyeongchang.

Athletes from both Russian sleds were included in the 11 whose doping violations were confirmed by CAS.

Ayotte said that while the initial investigation into Russian doping by Richard McLaren was looking for widespread cheating, "on an individual basis, the evidence (CAS) had may not be enough to find an athlete guilty".

Cas said its mandate was not to "determine generally whether there was an organised scheme allowing the manipulation of doping control samples in the Sochi laboratory". "The result of the CAS decision does not mean that athletes from the group of 28 will be invited to the Games".

The IOC has already invited 169 Russians to compete as "Olympic Athletes from Russia" under a neutral flag.

"This shows that this is a new generation of Russian athletes", the International Olympic Committee said in a statement.

Russian sports officials, including the president of Russia's Cross-Country Skiing Federation, Elena Valbe, said they are ready to seek monetary compensation from the International Olympic Committee for the moral and material damage inflicted. However, CAS reduced their lifetime Olympic bans.

"More than 80 percent of the athletes in this pool did not compete at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014".

The Canadians finished fourth in the team event four years ago in Sochi but learned in December they would likely be upgraded after Russians Albert Demchenko and Tatiana Ivanova were stripped of their results by the International Olympic Committee and received lifetime bans due to doping accusations.

On Wednesday, Putin met with Russian athletes set to compete in Pyeongchang and asked their forgiveness for "not having been able" to shield them from the doping scandal.

The former Olympic silver medallist, who was announcing maintained levels of funding for sporting national governing bodies and high performance, said that the IOC should not be involved in deciding who was eligible to compete from sanctioned countries and who wasn't.

The sanctions against them were annulled and their individual results achieved in Sochi 2014 were reinstated. "Now we have the goal to train for the Olympic Games". That won't happen until CAS releases more details on why it ruled the way it did Thursday, and it's unknown how long that process will take.

Among the reinstated athletes are two Olympic gold medalists, bobsledders Dmitry Trunenkov and Aleksei Negodailo; a world champion in skeleton, Aleksander Tretiakov; cross-country skiing gold medalist Maxim Vylegzhanin; and Olga Fatkulina, a world champion in speedskating.

Christiane Ayotte, director of the Montreal dope testing lab, said she was disappointed but not surprised at the court's ruling.

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